FY24 Budget Priorities

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Vanessa Fuentes
Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:02 am

FY24 Budget Priorities

Post by Vanessa Fuentes »


Yesterday we heard very loudly and clearly from Austinites about the need to invest in our community. As we continue to deliberate and consider the City Manager’s proposed budget, I remain focused on continuing conversations with the community to ensure we deliver a budget that reflects our City’s values and priorities.

With this in mind, I’m introducing the following budget amendments to address some of the fundamental needs of our working families in the City we love:

1) Family Stabilization Grant: This is a priority listed in the Community Investment Budget and a program that I was proud to co-sponsor last year. We’ve seen great success in this program providing much needed housing stabilization and support services with dignity. http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 135510.pdf

2) Social Services Contract Adjustment: Access to quality and affordable childcare is essential to a thriving community. This amendment incorporates a cost of living adjustment to Austin Public Health contracts focused on early childhood development and support services to families. http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 135556.pdf

3) Childcare Operators Grant Program: Far too many families struggle to afford the high costs of quality childcare. This amendment seeks to provide funding for the newly created grant program to help offset construction costs so that more childcare centers are built as quickly as possible in critical childcare service deserts. http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 134905.pdf

Supporting working families in Austin remains my top priority. I welcome your support on these budget amendments, and look forward to further discussing these initiatives with my colleagues and members of the community. Together, we can cultivate a city that works for every Austinite. Thank you.

Yours in Community
Council Member, District 2
Alison Alter
Posts: 220
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:52 pm

Re: FY24 Budget Priorities

Post by Alison Alter »

Dear colleagues,

I look forward to continuing our budget deliberations next week. Below please find my proposed budget amendments and budget rider.

A. Alter Amendment #1. Victim Services Counselors: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 151120.pdf
Co-sponsors: CM Fuentes, CM Vela

A. Alter Amendment #2. Wildfire Prevention & Land Management Plan: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 151151.pdf
Co-sponsors: CM Ellis, CM Kelly, CM R. Alter

Some backup related to Amendment #2:

>>>>>October 2019 Wildfire Preparedness Audit Report: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 104821.pdf

>>>>>July 24, 2023, Parks & Recreation Board Land Management Recommendation: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 104840.pdf

>>>>>July 25, 2023, Letter of Support from the Travis County Fire Marshal: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 104858.pdf

>>>>>August 1, 2023, Letter of Support from Austin Parks & Environmental Advocacy Organizations: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 104914.pdf

A. Alter Amendment #3. EMS Collaborative Care Communication Center (C4): http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 151219.pdf
Co-sponsors: CM Vela, CM Kelly, CM R. Alter, CM Fuentes

A. Alter Amendment #4. Response to Hate: We All Belong Campaign: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 151305.pdf
Co-sponsors: CM Qadri, CM Fuentes

A. Alter Budget IFC #1. Paramedic Practitioners and C4: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 154617.pdf
Co-sponsors: CM Vela, CM Kelly, CM R. Alter, CM Fuentes

Thank you to my co-sponsors on these various items.


Council Member, District 10
Mackenzie Kelly
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:56 pm

Re: FY24 Budget Priorities

Post by Mackenzie Kelly »

Dear Colleagues,

I appreciate our meaningful discussions this year and I am excited to tackle this budget together.

I'm asking for your support in reviewing my proposed budget amendments. Together, we can craft a strong budget that addresses the varied needs of our community. Your input is invaluable, so please share any thoughts or suggestions.

CM Kelly Amendment One: APD Vehicle Wraps http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 151802.pdf
CM Kelly Amendment Two: Aerial Fire Truck http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 152250.pdf
CM Kelly Amendment Three: 4 Fire Specialist 911 Call-Taker FTE Positions http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 152455.pdf
CM Kelly Amendment Four: 4 Lieutenant Dispatch FTE Positions  http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 154521.pdf
CM Kelly Amendment Five: 4 Safety Lighting Trailers http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 152743.pdf

CM Kelly Budget IFC One: Animal Behaviorist Staffing http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 153212.pdf
CM Kelly Budget IFC Two: Aerial Fire Truck Staffing http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 153316.pdf
CM Kelly Budget IFC Three: Extreme Weather Sheltering http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 153449.pdf

Thank you for your time, and I'm eager to collaborate on these crucial budget talks.

Warm regards,

Council Member, District 6
Ryan Alter
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2023 3:15 pm

Re: FY24 Budget Priorities

Post by Ryan Alter »

This budget cycle has highlighted many needs in our community and where we must invest to do better as a City. From these discussions with colleagues, community members, and our professional staff, I have prepared a few amendments for our deliberations this week. In sorting through many competing demands, I have prioritized addressing gaps in the budget for homelessness and climate equity:

1 – Homelessness Services Digital Delivery
http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 162904.pdf
2 – Homelessness Diversion and Rapid Exit
http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 162928.pdf
3 – Homelessness Case Managers Support
http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 162943.pdf
4 – Homelessness PSH Project Base Vouchers
http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 165213.pdf
5 – Homelessness Strategy Division Contract Management
http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 163530.pdf
6 – Homelessness Prevention, Tenant Education, Stabilization and Community Based Agreement Support
http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 163034.pdf
7 – Climate Equity: Neighborwoods Community Tree Planting Program
http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 163051.pdf

In addition to these budget amendments, I am proud to co-sponsor items being brought by other Council Members including gap funding for A New Entry’s treatment facility with CM Harper-Madison, expansion of childcare benefits for City Employees with CM Velasquez, Childcare provider grants with CM Fuentes, funding for playground shade structures with CM Vela, and Wildfire Prevention & Land Management with CM Alison Alter. I look forward to supporting these and other proposals as we move forward in our budget development.

Council Member, District 5
Jose Chito Vela
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2022 8:16 am

Re: FY24 Budget Priorities

Post by Jose Chito Vela »


Thank you for this opportunity to submit the District 4 budget amendments for public review. I have developed 14 changes which reflect my priorities for the City and my district. My primary areas of focus for the FY24 budget are safety, accessibility, and quality-of-life.

Vela 1: Tenant Stabilization Funds - $7,800,000

This amendment will maintain the $7.8 mill in tenant stabilization funding, including emergency rental assistance, eviction legal assistance, and relocation assistance for tenants facing displacement. As we continue to deal with a housing and homelessness crisis, maintaining our funding levels for tenant stabilization is critical to help prevent tenants from becoming homeless.

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 175615.pdf

Vela 2: Parks Shading Infrastructure - $2,000,000

After my budget rider last year, PARD completed a preliminary study highlighting a great need for shading infrastructure in our city parks. The current budget proposal allocates $210k to shade structures, which is only enough to serve two locations. This budget amendment will significantly increase funding for shade structures needed that provide heat protection for playgrounds, benches, athletic courts, and other recreational structures.

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 175648.pdf

Vela 3: ARR Transfer Center Study - $1,000,000

Austin is one of the largest cities in the nation without a waste transfer center. These centers improve efficiency, allow residents a place to take their bulk items, and reduce the climate impact of our resource recovery programs. This amendment will provide funding to start the facility study and planning efforts for a new center. *This item may already be funded by the department and may be amended or withdrawn.*

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 175717.pdf

Vela 4: 911 Staffing - $0/TBD

My office has been working with city staff on a 911 staffing plan. I support several specific changes to improve the vacancy rate and make sure the public is not waiting on hold. These changes include more frequent step raises, a new salary tier for call-takers with a tenure of 15-20 years, and authorization of part-time work. *This item may already be funded by the department and may be amended or withdrawn.*

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 175748.pdf

Vela 5: Sobering Center operating funds - $149,000

The Sobering Center provides important support services to both EMS and APD by diverting potential intoxication crimes from our jail and hospitals. The center is looking at offering more robust substance abuse treatments to its patients and these funds would help build the capacity to expand services. A recently awarded federal grant obtained by Rep. Lloyd Doggett may be a potential source of funds.

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 175829.pdf

Vela 6: Mayor and Council Funded Positions - $1,000,000

Last year’s market study of City Council office compensation, staffing, and budgeting surveyed various cities and found that the overall average size of an elected official’s office consisted of five employees. A budget rider last year added a fifth position to council offices and a ninth position to the Mayor’s office, but it did not allocate any funding to these positions. This amendment adds the necessary funding to these positions as well as a new funded position to add capacity to the Mayor’s office.

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 175856.pdf

Vela 7: Immigrant Legal Services - $1,000,000

In previous years, Council has included funding for contracts with legal service providers for affordable immigration legal services. Legal support empowers immigrants to obtain lawful employment, access essential services such as banking and insurance, start businesses, attend schools and job training, and establish relationships with public safety. *This item may already be funded and may be amended or withdrawn.*

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 180313.pdf

Vela 8: Expand Spay & Neuter Access - $1,200,000

Before the pandemic, we fixed over 10,000 pets a year. Now, we barely achieve half that number. With increased spay/neuter, we can minimize shelter overcrowding on a long-term basis. This increased funding will reduce the free spay/neuter backlog and permit our nonprofit partner to expand frequency of services.

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 180124.pdf

Vela 9: Language Access at Council Meetings - $100,000

Funding in-person interpretation for all Austin City Council meetings would be more equitable, inclusive, and efficient during meetings. Not every resident may be comfortable testifying in English on complex topics, and remote interpretation can be unreliable and cumbersome.

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 180611.pdf

Vela 10: Language Access during Emergency Response - $50,000

Continued funding for staff is required to ensure the City Emergency Operations Plan's language access provisions are developed and implemented as recommended by the City Auditor’s 2016 language access audit, 2021 emergency response audit, and 2023 language access audit followup. Given the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, updating and implementing an emergency language access policy is urgent.

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 180218.pdf

Vela 11: Data Employees for Office of Police Oversight - $273,108

Other cities have established excellent police data portals that help guide our public safety dates and ground them in data, not anecdotes. I propose shifting the new positions assigned to handle policing- and crime-related data from the Austin Police Department to the Office of Police Oversight. This approach will help ensure public confidence in our data reporting.

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 180252.pdf

Vela 12: Restoring Human Resources, Building Services, and CPIO Positions - $0

The proposed budget reassigns a total of 37 civilian employees from their home departments to the Austin Police Department. Community groups have expressed concerns about the record-keeping and transparency impact of this move. Given the 79% of Austin voters who supported expanded transparency in the recent election, I want to understand any potential impacts on transparency before we move more records into APD custody.

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 180359.pdf

Vela 13: Full-Time Lifeguards - $350,000

To address lifeguard recruiting and retention challenges, my office successfully advocated to add 13 full-time lifeguards in FY23. As an incremental step towards the goal of 25-30, we propose adding seven positions in this year's budget. Full-time status benefits the city in providing a more predictable, regular workforce and reduces reliance on unpredictable seasonal recruiting, while treating employees working full-time hours fairly.

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 180318.pdf

Vela 14: Mental Health Diversion Partnership - $2,000,000

Travis County has recently proposed a mental health diversion program for the jail and has asked for city support in establishing the diversion program. The proposed services can better address public safety, reducing the burden on our Austin police officers and EMS workers. The City of Austin should engage with Travis County’s efforts and provide planning and pilot funding.

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 180845.pdf

I’d like to extend my gratitude to my colleagues, community leaders, City of Austin staff, and my own staff for the diligent work addressing my office’s many inquiries over the last several months. Developing the budget is a long and challenging process, and I hope we can see it through to a positive conclusion over the next two weeks.


Paige Ellis
Posts: 99
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:37 pm

Re: FY24 Budget Priorities

Post by Paige Ellis »


I'm looking forward to our work sessions tomorrow and Thursday regarding potential budget amendments. Here are the items I will propose, some of which are still pending Q&A responses from staff and may change:

Ellis Amendment 1: eTOD Planning FTEs http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 175759.pdf

Ellis Amendment 2: PARD Facilities and Maintenance FTEs http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 180102.pdf

Ellis Amendment 3: PARD Circle C Metro Park Security Improvements http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 180117.pdf

Ellis Amendment 4: Litter in Creeks Abatement - FTE for Trash Coordinator http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 180138.pdf

Ellis Amendment 5: Gun Locks and Safe Storage http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 182803.pdf

Ellis Amendment 6: Fully Implementing Living Streets Program http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 182836.pdf

Ellis Amendment 7: The Other Ones Foundation Workforce First Program http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 182856.pdf


Ellis IFC 1: Adding a 3rd Personal Holiday for City Employees http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 180327.pdf

Ellis IFC 2: Shortening the City Employee probationary period from 6 months to 90 days http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 181732.pdf

I look forward to our discussions this week and working together on a budget for next year that will best fulfill the needs of our community.

MPT Paige Ellis
Paige Ellis
City Council District 8
Jose Velasquez
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2023 2:35 pm

Re: FY24 Budget Priorities

Post by Jose Velasquez »


I look forward to budget discussions where we work to prioritize and address needs that will best support and advance our community. Thank you to the community members and leaders who have been taking an active role in shaping our city's budget over the past months, and to my colleagues, city staff, and the District 3 staff for their continuous work through this process. 

Please see below for my proposed amendments and IFC.

Velásquez Amendment #1: Parent Support Specialists http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 175805.pdf

Velásquez Amendment #2: Primetime and Victory Tutorial http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 175904.pdf

Velásquez Amendment #3: HIV/STI Testing and Treatment http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 183106.pdf

Velásquez Amendment #4: Community Violence Intervention Programming http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 183255.pdf

Velásquez Amendment #5: CoA Employee Childcare Assistance http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 183408.pdf

Velásquez Amendment #6: Substance Use Continuum of Care http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 193314.pdf

Velasquez IFC #1: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 185312.pdf

Thank you!

CM Velásquez
Council Member, District 3
Sara Barge
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2022 2:31 pm

Re: FY24 Budget Priorities

Post by Sara Barge »

On behalf of CM Qadri:


I'm looking forward to our work session Thursday regarding potential budget amendments and IFCs. Please see below my proposed budget amendments and IFC.

Qadri Amendment 1: Drink Spiking Test Strip Pilot Program- $500,000

This pilot expands the existing Safer 6th Street Initiative to include funding for the distribution of drink-spiking test strips to nightlife establishments along with the current Sexual Assault Prevention/Bystander Intervention Training.

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 170013.pdf

Qadri Amendment 2: College Food Access Grant Program- $107,500

This will allocate additional money to maintain the College Food Access Grant Program that provides relief to food-insecure students at local colleges and universities. The College Student Commission formally recommended this investment in light of the increased need at campuses across Austin.

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 170038.pdf

Qadri Amendment 3: Mental Health Diversion Pilot Program- $2,000,000

Travis County has asked the City to contribute $2 million annually over a three-year period, beginning in Fiscal Year 2023-24, to fund a multi-partner pilot program. The County has already committed this same amount and is making a parallel funding request to Central Health, CommUnityCare, and our local hospital systems.

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 170058.pdf

Qadri Amendment 4: Fair Housing Testing- $500,000

This will allocate funding for fair housing education for residents and other stakeholders; resident counseling to provide guidance regarding civil rights; and countering discrimination in the housing market. It will also include funding for education and outreach, supporting residents in their efforts to rectify Fair Housing Act violations, and conducting fair housing testing.

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 170115.pdf

Qadri Amendment 5: Homelessness Services Provider Support- $590,000

This will allocate funding for capacity-building and support for small service providers. This summer, Council diverted $3.2 million of provider-support funding toward temporary semi-congregate shelter needs at the Marshaling Yard. This amendment restores partial funding.

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 170156.pdf

Qadri Amendment 6: PSH Supportive Services Funding- $3,000,000

This will commit new funding for wraparound supportive services for permanent supportive housing (PSH) developments. As new PSH units come online, funding must be set aside to cover the cost of on-site services for its residents.

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 170214.pdf

Qadri IFC 1: Housing Bond PSH

This will ensure that a portion of our voter-approved housing bond dollars are spent on permanent supportive housing and that those projects are developed in coordination with the Continuum of Care and are participating in the Coordinated Entry system, a data-driven best practice to prioritize people who face the greatest risks of chronic homelessness.

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 170854.pdf

Chief of Staff, District 9
Ryan Alter
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2023 3:15 pm

Re: FY24 Budget Priorities

Post by Ryan Alter »


To help move things along smoothly tomorrow, I want to provide a couple updates on amendments I have offered to the budget. I appreciate the Manager working with our office on these items that will bring valuable services to our community, particularly our unhoused neighbors. Budgets are moral documents, and I believe the base budget plus the changes we have all brought forward will result in a budget that reflects our values and is something we can all be proud of. This result would not have been possible without the diligence of our hard-working City staff, and I want to take this moment again to thank them for their help throughout this process.

R. Alter Amendments 3 and 4 – We know we need more housing options, both PSH and very-low-income units (30% MFI and below) for us to successfully get our unhoused neighbors into housing. That’s the goal these amendments sought to address, and after consulting with staff, I believe the most effective way to do this is for staff to develop a capacity-building plan for these much-needed units. Once that plan is developed, we will have funds available to add this critical capacity to get more people off the streets and into housing during a mid-year budget process.

R. Alter Amendment 6 (Tenant Education, Stabilization and Community Based Agreement) – This item is aimed to work with tenants on learning their rights, assisting in organizing efforts, and providing valuable legal counsel. After speaking with Housing staff, we believe this will further the goal of the anti-displacement funds in the Housing Trust Fund and will therefore be direction for staff to include this program as part of those efforts at a funding level they believe will have the most meaningful impact within the confines of the broader anti-displacement efforts.

New R. Alter Amendment 8 (Domestic Violence Shelter Digital Service Delivery) – This item was brought to our attention late in the process, but it connects families struggling with domestic violence a temporary place to go when other service providers (like SAFE) are full. Given it is coming forward this late, I was not going to offer it unless it could be funded without harming the budget requests of my fellow council offices, but I want to thank the Manager for finding room within the Police Department budget to support this program within victim services.
http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 214350.pdf

I look forward to our discussions tomorrow.

Council Member, District 5